Three Pieces of Toast
Robert Vaughan

1. Cinnamon

It would have been six of us, but Adam got caught up in the library. Typical. But that worked because Adam could be an asshole. Then Gus and Taylor bagged, decided to go bowling. Jerks. That left Tina, Geoff and me. And we needed a fourth if we were going to do this right. But Tina said I'll just go back and forth between you and Geoff. And that was okay. Sort of. Until later that night when I was falling asleep during American Idol, Geoff texted me. Said he felt a burning sensation when he took a leak. Now I'm on google freaking out. And neither of us can get in touch with Tina. Her cell message says she went to Florida on spring break.

2. Whole Wheat

At first I thought she must have been a visitor. She was so quiet. And polite. Spoke in clipped phrases, "Yes, please," and "No, thank you." I was over at Darby Larson's house. Spring break. My family had flown down to Tampa to see my great grandpa who was being transferred to a different nursing home. He'd just lost both his legs from the knees down. Gangrene, mom said. Darby lived in the same housing development. And the girl, the other one at the table, was their foreign exchange student. Amber. From Poland. What kind of girl is named Amber from Poland? And why did Darby invite me to lunch while Amber was there?
"So, Tina, how is your grandfather handling the move to Willow's Rest?" Darby's mother asked, a wisp of a woman. A strong wind might knock her over.
"My great-grandfather," I blurted then turned red. I didn't mean to correct her. It was all Amber's fault. I wanted to kick her. "He's fine," I said, forcing a smile.
Darby elongated every word, "Her grandfather move to home," to Amber. It was as if Amber was retarded.
My eyes widened, and I choked back a laugh.

3. Rye

My brother's heart had a valve that rotated clockwise when he did the backstroke. We did all we could to keep him from the water, but it's no small feat when you live on a boat. He was waiting for the day he'd feel good. He was waiting for the transplant. I wanted to give him mine, but it would mean I'd be heartless.